Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
Originally intended to be a brief summary of the season this has become something of a magnum opus in the eyes of those around me as more and more data has been pulled, collated, corrected and finally analysed. As such, this may slightly exceed the intended length and ramble on, I hope only to keep it interesting throughout and present my take on the brilliant season through the lens of statistics.
The Only Points That Matter: Final Standings
Of course the only numbers that matter at the end of the day are league points, they decide our winners and track our season. Winning the Major League with 23 of a potential 28 points is The Other Team. Meanwhile Exodunks take the Minor League with 21 points.
The match wins that can be seen here effectively represent how the scores would line up without bonus points for dominations and show how, especially in the Major League, these bonus points are key in differentiating an otherwise very tight field. Though eventually not an issue the domination wins of Team Johnny and Clevergirls would have left them tied for 4th to be split by Pf. Comparatively V0LTA’s pair of domination victories put them above Provi-Shotz and earnt them 10 additional prize skins.
Overall, despite the outliers in 1st and 8th, the Major League was insanely tight with only 6 points between 2nd and 7th. The Minor League was a more diverse field, but even they found 3rd and 4th divided by but a single bonus point. In total 18 bonus domination points were awarded throughout the season; enough to place 2nd in either league.
Pf(Points for) against Pa(Points against) makes a rather satisfying graph. The S shaped curve follows what you’d expect and bar one team, which I’ll explore later, there are few deviants. In fact it was so consistent I went on to compare the actual Pfs to predicted Pfs based on the average Pf in wins and losses and a team’s record.
Seen here the predictions hold up fairly well, barring an aforementioned selection. Though this is potentially a product of a small data pool it also points to a consistent pattern of break points in matches that is simply a facet of the format.
Red vs Blue: Theorycrafting Really Is All That
One of the hot button topics throughout the season has been the Red vs Blue balance. Once more Bei gets to sit back and relax at the end of season as it miraculously comes out at a perfect 50:50. This seemed a distant thought when we reached the mid season with nearly a 70% win rate for Blue. However this has been turned on its head, especially for the major league where the win rate for Red has been over 85% in the second half of the season and the final day lead us to a full Red wash.
The onus for this shift has been in theorycrafting, Blue having the key first picks of Cruiser, that is to say logistics, and Battlecruiser allowed them to secure composition defining picks. Where Frigate and Destroyer were relatively uncontested groups Battleship could be controlled by the choice of logistics paired with the Blue side split double logistics ban we came to see so frequently. 26 out of 56 matches in fact, and 4 more where a double logistics ban hit just shield or armour rather than the more typical both.
This gave Blue the advantage as the format was felt out, able to find the key picks they needed to put together strong compositions and able to bully Red into potential suboptimal frigate picks left them in a strong position. This shifted around the midpoint of the Championship, though signs were there into Q2.
A number of strategies came together for Red side including: a shift in bans away from an initial theme of armour battleships, the use of frigate logi, griffin picks or afterburner fit frigates all contributed to mitigating or undoing the effects of the Blue side double logistics ban.
This combined with further testing and theorycrafting based around alternative picks, what Red could do after Blue had taken the tools they wanted began to come together to restore and even sway the balance between Red and Blue. With Red still feared when the coin flip comes around it’s been the focus of theorycrafting and swung round to become the dominant side, at least in the Majors.
The drafting differences between the Majors and Minors are quite startling with Blue side priority, and by extension Red side tendency, being almost mirrored. We have also seen more typical drafts from Red in the Majors, seeking logistics and playing out more normal games.
This divide between Majors and Minors in Red vs Blue winrate follows this idea that theorycrafting became the driving factor. It’s not a difficult leap to take to say that our Major League teams put more in and are potentially just better theorycrafters. This is something that may become even more true next season as we see for the first time in this format a fully qualified Major League.
Armour vs Shield: A Question as Old as Ravens
So, the end of the season has come and we have an answer, armour is better, with over a 60% winrate. By comparison shield only manages a little under 45% bested even by the, admittedly shield based frigate logi picks and their 50%. Not picking Logi however has been, perhaps unsurprisingly, unsuccessful.
This can in part be traced back to the Red and Blue side priorities and win rates for the different leagues. The Blue dominated Minors prioritise armour on Blue, while the more Red dominated Majors prefer to pick Shield on Blue and leave Red to often pick armour. The Armour-Shield divide is most apparent in the Minor League however.
Compared to relatively even numbers in the Majors, Armour has a drastically higher win rate in the Minors and Shield is no longer breaking even. Surprisingly logistics frigates manage an even 50% in both Leagues, though typically the frigates were different, where the Bantam was the exclusive choice in the Major League the Minors saw the Burst in favour despite its worse record.
Interestingly the strategy of playing without logistics is more popular, and far more successful in the Major League. The sample is small enough that this statistic is artificially inflated by Phalanx’s hail mary compositions under Grookshank in the final weekend. However the additional success points to more practised and polished strategies, even for all in no logistics compositions.
Drafting: Fear and Promises
Some may recognise this returning scatter plot from earlier weeks, however it now looks very different. Plotting the Draft Rate on the x-axis against Win Rate on the y-axis gives an interesting overview of the season. The narrowing of the data field as picks become more popular points to a relatively good health and balance to the season as few ships maintain exceptional win rates after large amounts of play.
Another way of looking at this, along with the shift away from banning armour battleships, is that the fear was lost. The priority fell off as they saw play across the season, potentially as held strategies turned a dominant scrimming pick into a favourable, but beatable, match day choice. Alternatively the more dominant armour battleships were matched and beaten by shield options, opening up the field and reducing the value of such targeted bans.
The most drafted pick of the season has been the Exequror, and with good reason, achieving the highest win rate of any cruiser. This is related to the dominance of armour as a meta style which we see in the high win rates of the Prophecy and the Armageddon as well. The Exequror has featured in all but 3 matches of the season, with 14 out of 16 teams picking it once or more and the other 2 banning it at least once.
The Exequror, however, was only the third most banned ship, behind the Apocalypse and Abaddon, both of which saw far less play, and lower win rates. This second graph shows the distributions of all the picked and banned ships for the season, the void between the amount of picks and the total number of drafts that a ship has seen. Across the season Battleships drew the most bans of any category, despite seeming to have no statistically dominant ships, and was the only category where every ship drew a ban.
Finally and sneaking in at the bottom of the table, the Blackbird drew 2 bans but was never picked across the season. Only 2 bans, however, were leveled against the top 3 most picked ships across the season.
Picks and Versatility: Capturing the Season
This slightly underwhelming chart shows us the total number of unique picks each team has made. The general trend of Major League teams having more varied picks holds though it’s worth pointing out that the two teams with the most unique picks this season have both been relegated from Majors to Minors.
Through the 56 matches of the season we’ve seen 99 unique compositions played. We’ve seen 12 compositions repeated and only one repeated 3 times, a Sudden Otters composition of Rifter, Algos, Exequror, Prophecy and Megathron. With strong tackle, projected damage and durability the composition took 3 victories in the Minor League. The 3rd time it was picked, this time by Nasty Boyz not Sudden Otters, came so quickly after Sudden Otters had picked it a 2nd time that the Sudden Otters match had not yet been played.
Across the season in total we’ve seen 50 unique ships picked, from a total field of 68 potential ships. With all Battleships, Destroyers and all but one Battlecruiser picked the unpicked ships fall fairly evenly between Frigate and Cruiser. In Frigate the lack of bans into the category meant there was no real driver for massive diversity between a few ships seen as best in their category. Meanwhile in cruisers a very tight set of 5 pickable cruisers choked out other picks. The 25 most picked ships account for 85% of total picks and the top 10 nearly 50% of all picks.
Slasher – Most Picked: 32
Pulling a large number of picks into both shield and armour compositions the Slasher was popular for its high relative speed and excellent damage mitigation. Being able to have survivability regardless of logistics and with a scram allowing it shut down MWD reliant Battleships and Battlecruisers the Slasher became more and more popular across the season after barely featuring in the opening weekend.
Thrasher – Most Destroyed: 21
The 3rd most popular pick of the season the Thrasher’s lack of survivability compared to the other two comes down not to a low win rate, in fact it has the highest of the top 3, but game mechanics. With only the Slasher and Talwar being more popular the Thrasher is suddenly the most popular pick without a major form of damage mitigation, lacking the ability to sig tank like the others the Thrasher suffered surviving little more than 25% of its matches.
Prophecy – Most Wins: 20
The 5th most popular pick, with the 5th highest win rate as well, however the Prophecy has featured in twice as many matches as any above it for win rate. Performing a collection of roles very well: tanky heavy tackle, anti-support fire platform, bursts and versatile drones, has lead to the favour of the Prophecy. The deep drone bay mitigates the issues of other drone boats, or allows for a wider variety of tools in a match. Surviving nearly 2/3rds of their matches the Prophecy is a solid stopping point for any opponent looking to roll through your team.
Talwar – Most Losses: 20
Sporting a lower win rate that any other ship in the top 5 picked the Talwar has clocked up the most losses. With only a 33.3% win rate, matched exactly by its survival rate, the Talwar has been a popular but ineffective pick. Fundamentally it lacks the tools to sway a match being without tackle or major firepower, clocking in with barely half the damage of a Thrasher. In fact the Talwar is unique in its class for having no way to affect a match beyond its primary weapons. Though its range and application have given it a niche role these factors put it below the curve.
Corax/Coercer – Undefeated: 3
Worth a mention as despite their small play pool these ships have both gone undefeated in 3 games and being in fact the only undefeated ships in the season. Surviving each of their matches these picks have in fact comes from a very small pool with the Coercer unique to Offline and the Corax picked only by Clevergirls and Team Johnny.
Both ships bring a mix of tackle, resistance based tank and strong damage that make them strong anti-support ships. The ability to multiply their incoming reps compared to many small ships with lower resists, along with more damage than many, lets them win out in crucial support wing fights and swing matches.
Vigil – Unsuccessful: 5
The Vigil has played the most games of any ship in the format without a win, a favourite of Phalanx but also seeing play with V0LTA and Team Pretty, the Vigil has failed to yield results in any of its games. Played exclusively in the Majors and a favoured choice of all ins the Vigil appeals due to its potential to provide application support from safe ranges, however especially with the Talwar pick we often saw it paired with it forfeits all positional control. Unlike typical support Vigils on Tranquility, the Championship fit carries just one paint and a shield tank, even with its bonuses this has shown to be not enough to mitigate the loss of a typical tackle role that Frigates perform.
Beyond the Coercer unique picks failed to pick up any wins, though often there is solid logic behind them, from Make Amarr Great Again’s Maller that had seen success in the cup to Team Johnny desperate need for Skirmish bursts leading them to the Brutix. Unfortunately more than half of our unique picks can be traced back to one draft for The Charlatans, plagued by connections issues much of their draft went to random picks resulting in 4 unique picks from 5 and an unsurprising defeat.
Two other anomalies stand out in the picks for the season, the first is the Myrmidon, an oft taken pick in the cup and viewed often as a lower tier replacement for the exceptionally strong Prophecy. In the Championship however the void between the two has grown, its lower tank, shallower drone bay and less versatile secondary weapons leave it exposed in a more polished format. Between all this it has managed less than a 15% win rate across the season, despite this it’s been picked by 7 different teams, tellingly though no team has ever picked it twice.
Finally a note that surprised me; no ship has been picked by more than 14 teams, even the near ubiquitous Exequror or the much desired Ferox and Prophecy have not seen play with everyone each only being picked by 13 teams. In total only 12 ships have been picked by 75% or more of the teams. Though bans and side picks will have a factor in this, as well as the length of season, it suggests that no single meta has won out across the season, with many styles featuring across smaller groups of teams.
Domination: The Tools for Victory
We’ve had a total of 18 domination wins out of 56 matches, numbering a little over 30% of all matches these clean sheet wipes have including our shortest, and even our longest matches, that did not go to time. Looking at how it’s been done reveals some surprising and some not so surprising things.
First of all, logi is needed. Not a surprise at all, simply put the ability to multiply the effective health of a Frigate or Destroyer by factors of 10 or more in some cases is key to ensuring the no ships lost component of a domination victory. Though compositions without logistics have had some convincing wins the ease of trading at least one ship against them makes achieving dominations difficult if not impossible.
Looking closer at the information provides some interesting choices, shield is more successful than armour, but the most successful individual ships in most classes are armour ships. The enhanced damage and mobility shield often provides allow quick decisive play to a breaking point, this would likely be the key to the shield numbers. For armour certain ships shine more than others in achieving such commanding victories ships such as the Hyperion and a collection of high application projection battleships that can become the focus of a match.
The most successful battleships tend to be brawlers with the Rohk, Hyperion, and Tempest all featuring prominently. The Scorpion also makes the list, featured in both dominations with frig logi they provide the means by which a team can survive with less raw repping power. Both of these domination victories even came from the same exact composition: Bantam, Talwar, Caracal, Hurricane and Scorpion, played first by V0LTA then by Templis. This tight composition enhances the Scorpion with information bursts trades down its repping power, mitigated by jamming power of course, for significant damage from the cruiser slot.
This can be mirrored in the matches were the Griffin saw play, though its more limited EWAR capabilities prevent it from having the huge damage mitigation and disruption potential of the Scorpion it can still serve to protect its team especially as more ships are destroyed helping to ensure the clean sheet.
Despite the required emphasis on your own survival only 8 of the 18 victories involved durability command bursts, 6 for armour, all from the Prophecy, and 2 for shield. Shield however took 5 more with the skirmish bursts of the Ferox, these providing their own forms of survivability, as well as the dominance of the hull itself. All ins with the Oracle providing additional firepower and with the Hurricane’s projection and alpha round out the set.
Destruction: Breaking It Down
317 ships have died for your entertainment. By my estimates nearly 80,000 baseline crew members have been killed in service of your entertainment, and this is without beginning to consider those that gave their lives for training purposes. Or, in numbers capsuleers may give a little more care to, nearly 13 billion ISK has been destroyed in hulls alone.
In total the destruction has been very even week to week, with only the first weekend of the tournament itself standing out as any more bloody than the others. In fact the comparative numbers for the matches have all been very tight, 159 ships destroyed in the Minors to 158 in the Majors.
The split of sacrifices for a winning team and losses for the losing team is close as well, 28 to 130 in the Majors and 26 to 133 in the Minors. With over 80% of ship losses on the losing side of matches a consistent breaking point can be suggested. The average scores for matches suggests where those winning side losses are found, 14.0-2.3, rounded for readability. With the additional losses of the Destroyer category compared to others the vulnerability of these ships shows, with larger sig and lower speed than Frigates but little more tank they can be prime targets for a team looking to trade.
In the armour to shield balance the increasingly poor performance of shield across the season can be pointed to at its source. At the top end however the more even balance between the two types of tank on lost Battleships comes from the popularity, and perhaps lack of success of independent armour battleships in shield compositions.
With a survival rate of only 35%, the lowest of any overall ship class, the life of a Destroyer pilot can be a difficult one. Meanwhile Battleship pilots have a better chance of seeing the buzzer with a little over a 50% likelihood to save themselves and their more sizable crews. For cruisers the chances are only a little under that 50% mark for logistics, something mirrored by their frigate cousins, but in the realms of damaging cruisers there is a less than 25% survival rate. Combat Battlecruisers, perhaps true to their name, faired much better than Attack Battlecruisers with their own survival at a little over 50% while ABCs barely scraped over the 15% mark. In all, ships that win tend to live more, so The Other Team likely have an easier time recruiting crew members.
The Other Team: Unbroken
The Other Team have pulled through to the end of the season with a match record as clean as Apothne’s dishes. Dominating the Major League with 3 more wins than any competitor it is hard to say much about such a performance without having to analyze or overanalyze minuti detail of their performances.
In their statistics The Other Team don’t stand out in any categories but their match record. With no unique or pocket picks, consistent performances on both side of the draft, an average match time not too far over the league average and an almost modal number of dominations, certainly unexceptional in the top 4, the defining factor of The Other Team’s play statistically has been the tick in the win column.
Their two absolute records, highest Pf and lowest Pa speak only into this and we are left with a distinct lack of contrast to analyse their compositions through. Instead I sat down with Hoodie Mafia to talk about the effort his team put in to come away with such an incredible season.
The Other Team has the smallest roster of any team in either league with only 10 players and played matches from an effective 8 man roster. Speaking to his good fortune in finding 9 other players with the same drive and dedication this season, Hoodie explained how cloud based sheets allowed them all to work together across multiple timezones. A practise that no doubt hid the sheer number of theorycrafting hours that they put in.
In terms of ships in space practise The Other Team gathered every weekend to practise, racking up a total of nearly 120 practise games against 5 different skirmish partners. On average they played more matches in a training session than they did through the entire season, burning through around 200 hulls in the process.
Practise wasn’t limited to the arena itself however with 250 simulated drafts being laid out. Discussing this kind of theorycrafting Hoodie told me how he believed you couldn’t theorycraft around a strategy if you couldn’t conveniently lodge it in your mind. It is from this practise and a random thing generator that we get such brilliant names as Carrot Paper, the seemingly ubiquitous blue side double logi ban, Soda Can, the red side griffin pick that they debuted in Q2, and Milk Magnet, which I was almost afraid to ask about.
Coming into the season Hoodie had a firm goal to make The Other Team a meta defining team, a goal they have predominantly succeeded in. With tactics like Soda Can being picked up by other teams, and even whole compositions being duplicated in some cases. Even where their goal has been missed The Other Team have adapted fast and put the effort in to stay on top.
The effort The Other Team have put into the season has paid off with a spectacular victory. Going into season 3 they have set themselves up as the ones to beat. With a team of brilliant and adaptive pilots and theorycrafters beating them next season certainly looks like a challenge.
Team Johnny: Down to the Wire
Taking second place Team Johnny are a stark contrast to The Other Team. Far from the steady line of a consistent first Team Johnny didn’t even secure a top 4 position until the final minutes of the season with a crucial win over V0LTA. Hitting the midseason in the relegation zone Team Johnny powered through the second half of the season to secure their safety and even the glory of second place.
Throughout the season Team Johnny have shown themselves to be a real feast or famine team. Despite only 4 victories they achieved 3 dominations, key to claiming second place and a total matched only by Exodunks, the Minor League Champions. On the other hand 2 of their 3 losses were dominations.
This is no doubt a major factor in Team Johnny holding the record for the shortest average match time at 6:48. This includes an peerless 2 matches under 5 minutes while at the other end none of their matches went into the 10th minute.
Not having played armour since the first week, where their only unique pick of the season, a Brutix, let them down, they’ve focused on faster shield compositions. Their favourite pick across the season was the Thrasher with 4 picks, its high damage in a relatively fragile package perhaps a parallel for Team Johnny’s performance.
V0LTA: Pretty Statistics and Dominixes
This graph makes me probably happier than it should, it’s a smoothed graph of the win/loss performance of V0LTA across the season. This combined with the nice divide of their win/loss record, beating all the bottom 4 teams and losing to all the other top 4 teams. This seems to put V0LTA in a dubious position going into next season however, not having yet beaten any of their competition.
The other stand-out feature of V0LTA has been their loyalty to the Dominix, a battleship that’s not otherwise seen much love. Being the only team to pick it multiple times and responsible for more than half of the overall picks of it. Despite their love the Dominix has only brought the V0LTA squad a single win in three games.
V0LTA have typically played out their games fast, with an average match time under 7 minutes and the fastest match of the season amongst them, two matches stand out for time with a common theme though: running away. A 14-6 victory over Team Pretty in which their opposition kited the match out for the better part of 5 minutes only losing a Caracal to the boundary in the process. And their final match against Team Johnny, where team captain StarFleetCommander danced on the edge of the arena right the way to the 9 minute mark trying to deny Team Johnny the domination victory any way that he could.
Provi-Shotz: If It Ain’t Broke
The story of Provi-Shotz season comes down to the story of one ship almost. The Oracle pick was not all that made it but did form the core of the composition that catapulted Provi-Shotz from 3 weeks in 7th all the way to 4th in the standings and a place in next season’s Major League.
Slasher, Algos, Augoror, Oracle, Armageddon. With iteration, this was the composition Provi-Shotz got to play from Red side 4 matches in a row, that exact composition for two of those matches. More important than their own consistency was that of their opponents. Merlin, Talwar, Shield Logi, Drake, Rohk or Tempest. Nearly every one of those matches saw the same style of composition from Blue side.
Having constructed the match up with choice bans, including the Apocalypse and Ferox, the team then fell to executing it. Breaking the shield links battlecruisers first in most matches, using the huge dps of the Oracle, its EM/Thermal damage lock working in their favour as the toll of the Armageddon pressured the tank modules of shield opponents, they tore through the opposition in short order to power up the ranking, ending the season in 4th on a 4 win streak.
Clevergirls: So Close But So Far
Clevergirls were a team who looked good coming into the season, with a strong record in the Minor League and before, this team that started in Horde had many eyes on them. Slipping into the 5th place slot at the end of the season was a narrow loss for the squad and came on the back of a V0LTA loss, the last match of the season, rather than their own.
As the graph above shows, a place in next season’s Major League was very close to a reality for Clevergirls, being just 1 point behind 4th place Provi-Shotz, a tidier match at a large number of points in the season would have clinched it for them.
Their season as a whole started strongly, with a pair of solid wins and even the pocket pick Corax painting the picture of a team to beat. A Q2 move to armour compositions brought mixed results, with a narrow loss and a domination victory. Strong match ups in Q3 seem to have marked a downturn for the team however.
Team Pretty: A Box of Chocolates
Team Pretty have been surprising throughout. Having picked Shield, Armour and all in compositions. Trying multiple EWAR frigates, all the Amarr Battleships and both Combat and Attack Battlecruisers and racking up the highest versatility score of the championship, 24, in the process. Impressively they managed this with no unique picks.
Not just in the draft but in their record Team Pretty have surprised us. Though their wins are smattered around the table the means by which they have been found is too. With 3 matches going to time they are tied for the record here, but their otherwise short games are a surprising contrast. These include their brutal no logi match in which a ship died every 43s until only their Battleship was left standing.
Scraping and saving points in messy matches throughout the season paid off in the end as their Pf earnt them 6th place and bonus skins. Despite this their Pf is notably lower than others with similar records, a lack of decisive matches and some very tight matches bring this down though only The Other Team have kept a clean sheet against them.
The Charlatans: Non-Violent Contest
The Charlatans challenge Team Pretty for that record of most games taken to time, and are in fact the only team to have taken League Champions The Other Team to time in a Match. Only having ended 1 of their 3 wins with a ship kill, the others going to time, Charlatans have beaten all the other teams in the bottom 4, a confidence boost as they look to see them again in the Minor League next season.
A recurring theme of Charlatans matches, win or loss, has been low scores on their sides of the board. This has left them nearly 20% down on total points scored in their matches compared to the championship average. Having picked durability links in all but one match of their season and tending towards comps that can be played defensively has contributed to this.
An unfortunate black mark on the record, but not their sportsmanship came in their sole match of Q3. Connection issues for their acting captain Skir Skor lead to a randomized draft for The Charlatans and an inevitable loss with it.
Phalanx: A Memento Mori
Phalanx are an unfortunate tale for this season, but a stark contrast for the other teams of the Major League. Their drafts have been all over the place; sometimes tidy metastyle, others put together an interesting blend of concepts and rare picks before finally coming out with solid all in compositions in the latter stages. The Vigil pick throughout the tournament finding a solid place here as they pressured even the League Champions with a hail mary shot.
Sadly the struggles of Phalanx can be traced back to a root in organizational struggles, with a leadership moving away from the game the drive and dedication that has been key to the performance of teams in both leagues moved away with them.
This crystallized in the final weekend as 3rd in line captain Grookshank stepped up to get his team to the end of the season. With demotion to the Minor League as a team and lacking confirmed leadership for next season the future of Phalanx at this point has a number of questions marks for those watching.
Exodunks: Wavered but Victorious
After losing the EVE_NT Cup final to Nasty Boyz, Exodunks came into the Championship with something to prove. And by the end of the season they certainly managed it. Finishing Q1 in 5th position came down to their only loss for the season, to eventual 2nd place finishers Offline. From here on Exodunks picked up the pace and after a slow victory over Templis clocked up 3 dominations in a row before beating Nasty Boyz in a repeat of the cup final, no doubt a satisfying end to the season.
Far from varying their strategies to their opponents Exodunks have chosen to power through with consistent picks throughout the season. Though only twice pushed to armour they played out both matches with the same strong core of Rifter, Dragoon, Prophecy and whatever armour Logi they could. The web/scram of the Rifter combined with the versatility of the double drone bays, backed up both times by a Battleship with a 125mbit/s bandwidth serving them well.
Across on shield they played the Scythe in every match, favouring the fast moving Minmatar logistics with its consistent performance. They have also used the Hurricane more than any other ship, despite its loss of skirmish links in the preseason changes. The info links it did provide however slotted in well with their later adaptation to bringing a Griffin over a Slasher in the frigate slot. In general however it provided a strong projection option from the Battlecruiser slot, something that, bar the oft banned Ferox, is found lacking for shield compositions.
Offline: A Quiet Powerhouse
Above you’ll see the ranges of the main weapons of various Offline picks from Battlecruiser and Battleship category, showing the immense ranges of some of the teams prefered picks. In fact totalled up Offline picks have a total range of more than 1500km just in these 2 classes, or an average range of about 108km for an Offline Battlecruiser or Battleship pick. I may have ventured into recreational statistics here.
Offline have been a bit of a sleeper pick this season, drifting up and down the top 4 before finishing in 2nd. They’ve been the only team to beat Exodunks and only given away losses to Sudden Otters, a failed attempt at frigate logistics, and surprisingly Make Amarr Great Again, a Dominix pick by Make Amarr Great Again being key to this. They have no doubt earned their 2nd place finish and if they continue the way they do they look to be a strong team in next season’s Majors.
Their picks have also been an interesting story, the long range top end already mentioned, as has the success of their own unique Coercer pick. Amongst their matches are a pair of some significance. Their matches against Nasty Boyz and Power Ducks differ by a single pick across both teams. Only two bans are different if you include those and only 1 point and 10s separate the results. 15-0 and 15-1 wins for Offline with Atron, Coercer, Exequror, Prophecy and Megathron/Abaddon against Slasher, Thrasher, Scythe, Ferox and Hyperion. The difference in Battleship pick even is caused by the difference in bans, so though we haven’t had a perfect repeat these matches are certainly close, and played out very differently.
Sudden Otters: Flash in the Pan
Setting themselves out as one of the teams to beat Sudden Otters commanded the table through to Q2 before drifting back to 3rd by the end of the season. Sudden Otters certainly started the season with a lot of hype. Immediately beating the EVE_NT Cup champions, Nasty Boyz, with a frigate logi composition that took people by surprise. Carrying this on with two more victories, both dominations and both brand new compositions had expectations high before Exodunks brought them to a halt on the way to the top.
Despite initial thoughts that Sudden Otters might define the meta with these strong and varied composition Sudden Otters seemed to have no more tricks up their sleeves. With the second lowest versatility of all teams in the Championship and even repeating their own compositions, though to good effect, their surprises and wins dried up in the latter half of the season. Their final win against Templis was bittersweet as the denied domination closed down their chances at the title and served part of what kept them down in 3rd.
A love of projecting shield Battlecruiser has permeated their season, seeing the typical picks of Ferox and Hurricane taken even further with the Naga, one of only 3 teams to attempt it. Their one armour comp sacrificed projection from that slot and instead took it in the Megathron, a pick few came back to.
The oddest characteristic of Sudden Otters’ play, however, has been the prevalence of logistics frigates with 3 of the 4 Minor League games that involved them involving Sudden Otters. However beyond the initial success the logistics frigates, or all Bursts specifically, found little success losing both following matches.
Nasty Boyz: Support Wing Consistency
Nasty Boyz have favourite frigates, and a favourite style of destroyer. Charting it across the season in fact the Dragoon was tested but found wanting, a move made to the Algos with its larger drone bay and additional scram, followed by a move from the early season Oracle pick to the more successful, for them and more, Prophecy.
On the shield front both matches were played out with the Minmatar themed support wing, fast moving and with solid damage it won out against Templis but failed to safeguard their logistics against Offline’s armour.
Up in the Battleship slot on the other hand Nasty Boyz have varied, starting the season with EWAR battleships, playing the much feared Apocalypse where they could and moving from brawling to projection in the latter end of the season.
Overall Nasty Boyz have put in a solid performance this season, though perhaps not what some expected from the EVE_NT Cup champions, the extended, more practised and more refined format of the Championship simply may not suit them. Losing the cup final rematch to Exodunks cemented these thoughts and a lack of wins against top 4 teams leaving Nasty Boyz with a tough road ahead going up to the Majors next season.
Make Amarr Great Again: Set in Their Ways
6 Punisher picks, this is the stat I find myself always coming back to from Make Amarr Great Again. This is the most any team have picked a single ship, and a contributing factor for why Make Amarr Great Again have the lowest versatility score of any team in the Championship.
Despite such a low versatility score, only 16, a score many teams had passed by the mid season, Make Amarr Great Again have made unique picks. The Maller, that they picked and lost with twice has been untouched by other teams. The Punisher itself has only been picked once by another team, Power Ducks in their first match of the season. The Harbinger that they picked is another semi-unique, picked otherwise only by V0LTA in the Majors, neither team have been successful with it.
Playing and losing 3 times without logistics and never, even when armour logistics is denied, moving to shield has left Make Amarr Great Again with a repetitive draft across the season. In the latter weeks the Maller pick gave way to an Exequror on Blue side and it was this and its consistent pairing with the Prophecy that found them all of their victories.
Surprisingly, given their name, the Amarrian Dragoon was overlooked in most of these matches in favour of the Gallente Algos, though the choice of the Megathron can be explained easily as its Amarrian counterparts are consistently banned away.
Templis: A Marathon Not a Sprint
Templis made the best of their time in the limelight this season. They have been the only team to clock up more than an hour’s worth of play across their matches and with an average match time of 9:12 they spend nearly 20% more time in the arena than the championship average.
None of Templis’ matches ended under 8:00 minutes and 3 went all the way to the clock. Amongst these however is a domination victory, at 8:15 it is their fastest match as their frigate logi Scorpion composition locked out Footwork in Q3. Played out slowly behind the safety of the strong jams this was the most solid, and based on local, most frustrating victory Templis have taken.
Coming into the midseason Templis had only played 7 unique ships across 3 matches. Though greatly expanded, 19 picked by the end of the season, the theme of repetition has stuck with them as on 3 occasions they duplicated the picks of another team. These duplicate picks however payed off for Templis, with the team’s victories aligning precisely with these copycat compositions.
Power Ducks: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
Power Pigeons have had a season that frequently left them kicking themselves. Their best performance having seen them contribute to the downturn in the fortunes of Sudden Otters, their worst seeing them throw a match in the early minutes. With many in the space in between going down to single cycles back and forth.
Their seeming mid season improvement was stopped short by Offline and couldn’t be brought back against Templis to round out the season with only 2 wins. Across the season they’ve favoured relatively fast matches, their average at 6:53 is over a minute below the Minor League average. They’ve also shown preference towards the Hyperion, despite early troubles with it. Picking it twice into shield compositions they’ve followed a prevalent theme of valuing the strong independant Hyperion over more conventional shield battleships.
Tesla Coil Owls have also been firm believers in the Ferox, picking it in every match that they could, despite such loyalty it didn’t give them a win, both of their victories in fact coming from conventional pairing of the Algos, Prophecy and armour logi, even the Hyperion only granting victory when played with armour.
Their final match of the season was a return to armour, but a ban against themselves on the Prophecy and Templis picking the Hyperion into their own shield composition stripped out some of LED Crows most successful tools.
Footwork: Drafting and Growing
Footwork have often been a frustrating team to watch throughout the season, bringing out strong compositions and not realising the full potential of them. The chart above shows this to a degree, measuring the win rate of picks, and showing Footwork picks notably above average for Cruiser and Battlecruiser, these rates it should be noted are brought down by Footworks’ own record and likely compensating for this would look even more favourable. In all Footwork have drafted winning ships, but not been able to win with them.
Their season began in good form beating out Make Amarr Great Again in a battle between two no logi compositions. Carrying the style through to face Sudden Otters resulted in a dominating defeat for them however.From here we saw a shift into using logistics and tighter compositions, straying in Q3 with another attempt to pair the Tristan and Apocalypse together for the success it found them in the first week. Watching them with others, especially the strong projection based composition they settled on in the final week, has seen analysts praising their drafts.
Unfortunately this praise hasn’t continued to the matches themselves, their schedule featuring the Minor Leagues 1st and 2nd place teams in the final week both of which took apart the repeat composition to secure dominations. In all Footwork have shown potential, lots of moments that have had our analysts smiling at interesting tactics or strong drafts but polish on the field will be needed to take them further if they return.
Absolute Domination: The Fastest Domination of the Season
Vital Statistic: 4:06
At barely over 4:06 this is not only the fastest domination of the Championship but also the fastest match of the season. The cascade started a little over a minute in as fire from V0LTA and especially their Talwar, piloted by Jaric Taron, brought an end to Brett Thomas Thomas’s Bantam, not long after the Tornado of Liquid Ninja, neuted out by the deceptively strong neuts of Annie Gardet’s Dominix fell.
The Cormarant and Caracal were easy pick offs with logistics gone and the time factor crushing the Caracal of Tyrion Hekki’s cap. CtrlFreak’s Slasher struggled, dropping into armour, until Tyrion Hekki was cleared but was soon caught by reps and with their Dominix burning in to maximise its damage the Tempest of Taston Thorne dropped before it could significantly threaten the buffer of the Dominix.
In all V0LTA smashed through a dubious composition from Clevergirls, its unique Tornado proving to be a weak link under neuts as we’d seen in the EVE_NT Cup. Crucially a lack of tackle and a potentially off target call by Clevergirls, combined with the high rep potential of StarFleetCommander’s Osprey as the match began let the Dominix live through, even with its primary tank layer stripped away by the end.
Last Man Standing: Bloodiest Match
Vital Statistic: 9
9 of the 10 ships that went into this match were destroyed. The 15-10 score line in fact features the highest losing score of the entire championship. Team Pretty committed hard to a trade game from the start burning in their high damage Oracle to maximise their output onto the Typhoon of Team Johnny captain, Battle Dog. Cyric’s’ sacrifice seemed dubious as he was dropped for only the shields of the Typhoon but tackle from Lexy in the Rifter kept the otherwise fast Typhoon pinned down eventually trading itself as well to end the high damage Battleship.
Now the high burst damage that remained with Team Pretty, especially focused in the Caracal of Havak came into play volleying through the low buffer Osprey of Micheal Pancake. From here teams were on more even footing with both lacking logistics and the support wings were soon traded out, Team Pretty’s light missile spam a key factor in the favourable trades here.
TehEbil1’s Ferox is not a ship to be overlooked however as it chased down and picked off Havak before beginning the slow work of taking down the signature tanked Talwar of Skarpa. All the while Dxella’s Tempest was slowly closing on the Ferox, its long falloff keeping a slow but steady stream of damage coming and as TehEbil1 chased down and killed Skarpa the Tempest closed range and ended out the match as the last ship standing.
Down to the Wire: Longest Domination Match
Vital Statistic: 9:56
Exodunks’ domination victory over Sudden Otters was a slow burn of a match, with both teams coming in at 50 a conservative early positioning game began. With huge projection from Vewglas in the Naga Sudden Otters began to test the logistics of Exodunks’ Per Ole. Lord Colin positioned his Rohk to screen but Deyze, Exodunks captain, soon took the opportunity to pin it down with his Slasher.
With Lord Colin all but dead in the water for drive Exodunks began to move around it chasing the Sudden Otters squad. Wasa Qc’s Tempest by now showing damage from being the focus of Sudden Otters firepower. This changed soon however as with Deyze occupied and Zaraxal lacking tackle on his Talwar the task of pinning down a target fell to Vogels’ Cyclone.
Initially seeming to be tackled itself by the Thrasher of Nebula XII the Cyclone dropped low in shields before Exodunks focused and destroyed Nebula XII. With the Thrasher gone Sudden Otters found themselves without screening, soon the slow Naga of Vewglas was run down by Vogels and swiftly dispatched, the reps Nika NOisER was able to provide from his Burst simply insufficient.
He soon became the focus pushed off his allies and picked off himself, Randolph Sykes in the Caracal was entirely isolated from Lord Colin’s Rokh as Wasa Qc’s Tempest began to work through the Battleship’s tank. The Caracal’s poor cap no doubt became an issue as Vogels once more did his job running it down and taking it apart with around 90 seconds to go. Finally able to bring their full team to bear on the Rokh that was bleeding armour Exodunks simply had to race the clock to bring it down and with just 4 seconds left on the clock.
Other Side of the Coin: Closest Domination Denial
Vital Statistic: 0:04
Another down to the wire match from Sudden Otters but one that this time put them on the winning side. The Griffin of Stalence for Templis along with an initially defensive tack for Sudden Otters contributed to stretching out the match. As thelastspartan’s Apocalypse lead the charge in, Sudden Otters simply focused on keeping their logistics up and maintaining position looking for a later advantage.
This came from Vewglas’s Algos getting tackle on Stalence, even as this happened the Rifter of Randolph Sykes tackled the Myrmidon of Safoi that had burnt in with thelastspartan. Though Stalence slipped tackle, shield maintenance bots keeping him alive, Safoi wasn’t so lucky, having been the focus of damage from Ais Hellia in the Megathron throughout he finally dropped in the 6th minute of the match to become the first casualty. Not long after Autoraqual’s Dragoon was struggling in a support wing battle, trying to control the Exequror of Nika NOisER that Templis had focused so far.
The next loss in fact came as Stalence fell, Randolph Sykes pursued him he lost the supportive drones from Aurorqual to range and when tackle landed on him he fell quickly. While this happened the Prophecy of Nebula XII had fallen into its typical role of heavy tackle, holding down thelastspartan as Ais Hellia provided the damage, with the Myrmidon down bursts were gone and both provided softer targets, even with omar jumper’s Augoror still on field.
Sudden Otters cleared Auroraqual with around 90 seconds to go, but they had less than 45 remaining by the time the Apocalypse went down. Needing the bonus point to challenge for the title Sudden Otters went all in to kill the Augoror but were short on time destroying it a mere 4 seconds after full time was called.
Technical Win: Least Destructive Match
Vital Statistic: 2
Only 2 ships were destroyed in the duration of this match. As the Scorpion-Exequror pairing for Templis provided a huge amount of durability. Across the draft Exodunks’ choice of the Hurricane for a Battlecruiser offered some resilience to the EWAR Battleship with its information bursts.
The first ship kill of the match came early as the teams met, caught by the grappler of Zaraxal’s Hyperion and the warp scrambler of Deyze’s Slasher Dale Sturtevant’s Dragoon was swiftly torn apart. There was then a considerable pause, in no small part due to the targeting choices of Templis’ damage core losing much of its potential to the signature tank of Deyze’s Slasher. As we enter the 5th minute Stalence’s Rifter, tasked with controlling Zaraxal came under intense pressure before being caught by omar jumper in the Exequror.
As this went on damage was sunk into Zaraxal by Templis, barely breaking the shields of the armour tanked ship. The Hyperion as an offtank Battleship had some strength here as its one of the strongest locally tanked ships in the format, a useful trait with support from Per Ole’s Scythe dependant on ECM.
Soon the Templis damage shifted to the Hurricane of Wasa Qc, taking it out would be a considerable boon to their chances by removing both a strong ship and granting a buff to their Scorpion’s efficacy. Meanwhile Exodunks refocused from Stalence to Super Chair in the Oracle, the damage core of Templis as it is tackled by Deyze’s Slasher, drawing jams off Per Ole and onto Deyze to try and free Super Chair became key as well in saving the Hurricane of Wasa Qc.
Moving into the 7th minute the Oracle finally drops, the loss of its damage a reprieve for Exodunks as they stabilize Wasa Qc under the megre damage of the Scorpions rapid heavy launchers. With little chance of victory remaining, due to such megre damage from their surviving ships, Templis focused on survival, denying the domination. So as he dropped into structure with a little under 2 minutes remaining thelastspartan jammed off the scram of the opposing captain and micro-jumpdrived across the arena a move that kept the remaining Templis ships alive until time was called.
Was It worth It: Relative Earning
This chart shows the relative income of teams based on their earned prizes, team sizes and time played, however it requires a rather larger disclaimer as it does not take into account:
- Time spent training
- Time spent theorycrafting
- Time spent drafting
- Time spent waiting in and around the arena before and after matches
- Time spent qualifying for the league
- Time spent doing interviews for NT staff
- Time spent being dragged onto talkshows
- Team’s individual distribution methods for skins
- The true value of skins and how this can increase over time
- (They are estimated, based on previous skin values at 2.5B)
In all this graph might be drastically inaccurate. It was also suggested by Bei. These facts of course have no correlation. It does however give some idea of the fact that playing the the EVE_NT championship can pay off. The few major anomalies are interesting to explain as well.
Of course at the top The Other Team have a drastically higher value than others, this comes down to their limited 10 man roster. The same effect combined with low average match times inflates Phalanx over even Minor League champions Exodunks who have taken home more prizes. Finally the lowest value goes to Templis, who combined a full roster roster with an incredible amount of time in the arena, though as mentioned before in terms of overall effort this extra time is a minimal factor.
Across the season teams have played for glory, honour, promotion, safety, and of course, gorgeous IGC skins. They have put time and dedication, and many innocent lives, into providing entertainment for us all. We’ve also been lucky to have an incredible team that sunk over 300 man hours into broadcasts alone. This doesn’t even begin to encompass the time taken to build and test the format, maintain websites, write articles, liaise with CCP, write up production documents, plans and rotations and do marketing. Season 2 of the EVE_NT Championship has been a labour of love for so many, and we can only hope you have enjoyed it all.
MetaStats: Stats about the Stats Blog
Between me not being entirely with it when I set out plans for this, an inherent desire to analyse everything that I could and eventual gathering of far more information than I could possibly use this blog has grown out of control to the length of a reasonably sized academic paper. This along with poor health have lead to it taking nearly 3 times the amount of time of the others to be published, the time writing it even more so.
I’d like say a brief thank you to anyone who’s read through all of this and include a graph that got cut from the main blog, simply because of how much work I put into it. Between this and others the better part of a pad of paper was consumed simply by my analogue tallying.
On the digital front there have been at least 9 full spreadsheets brought together to create this including a total of 73 individual sheets, the largest of which contains 6,406 cells of data at an average value of 7.653638822. This doesn’t count the 33 spreadsheets used to build the graphs in this blog and the working on them.
In all this blog comes to 9468 words under 30 headings with 33 charts. And I seriously considered renaming this to a Stats Report to try and justify its length. At this point I will be quite happy to not see a spreadsheet for a few weeks before I begin building them for the upcoming AT XV coverage. In fact I’m going to go and write some fiction now, let me just open up my notes spreadshe–.